David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Reading at the KGB Bar This Wednesday

As a reminder to those in the New York area, I will be reading this Wednesday night at the Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at the KGB Bar in Manhattan. I’m essentially the warm-up act for the legendary Carol Emshwiller, she who hath won the Philip K. Dick and World Fantasy Awards and received multiple Nebula and James Tiptree Jr. nominations as well.

What will I be reading? I was told that organizers Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant strongly prefer that readers read something complete, rather than novel excerpts. Fair enough. Problem is that I only have a single published short story to my name, and though it does briefly mention computers and Star Trek, it’s not even remotely close to science fiction. (The e-zine that published it in 1995 tried to pass it off as soft erotica or something like that, which is a laugh. Perhaps they assumed that any story which uses the “c” word automatically counts as erotica. They posted the story in their “Sex” section. For years, if you looked my name up on Yahoo or AltaVista, the top result said something like: “Urban Desires: SEX by Dave Edelman. Have you ever had sex with a stranger on a bus?”)

I’ve had many false starts trying to write short stories over the past few years. To me, short story writing is much harder than novel writing. I’ve been known to say that I solve every writing problem that I encounter by tacking on another ten or fifteen pages. You can’t do that with short stories. And so I have a handful of stories on my laptop that either aren’t finished or aren’t finished to my satisfaction.

Over the past week, I buckled down and more or less finished a true SF story called “Mathralon.” Those of you who attend this Wednesday’s reading will be the first to hear it. I will, in fact, be handing out signed printouts of “Mathralon” after the reading to all those who want them.

How did I manage to finish writing a short story when I’ve historically had so much trouble with the short form? It was remarkably easy; it just required a little change of attitude. The parts of the story I was having such difficulty with were the characterization, the dialogue, and the plot. So I wrote a story with no characters, no dialogue, and no plot. Simple. I couldn’t decide whether to tell the story from the first person or the third person, so I decided to tell it from a first person plural perspective (e.g. Greek chorus).

In short: “Mathralon” is much, much different from Infoquake, though it does touch on similar themes (in particular the effects of laissez-faire capitalism on the underclass). I hope it works, or at the very least, I hope I’m not carried out of the bar on a rail.

I’m told that Mobile Libris will be on hand selling books. Which hopefully means they’ll be selling Infoquake along with Carol Emshwiller’s books. So I’d be more than happy to sign your copies of Infoquake as well.

Hope to see y’all there.

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  1. Josh on March 19, 2007 at 11:40 am  Chain link

    This could be vewwwy eeenteresting. Do sign me up for one-who-doth desire a copy and would be happy to buy yah a drink for the trouble, considering the place is a bar.

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